We settled in the room, and I washed Valerian down with a wet cloth. It was a little too cold today for me to give him a bath right now. Once Valarian had settled and was napping, I had the longest, hottest shower in ages. Trying to wash the memories of last night away.
I found my mate, saw him, and he didn’t recognize me. But worse still was knowing he was with another woman. The agony that it caused as I ran home was heartbreaking as well as painful. When Marcus took me there, I hoped that he would recognize our son and get the help we needed, that maybe everything could be fixed, especially once I realized he was my mate. Allowing hope for the first time in ages, and I caught a glimmer of it only for it to be taken away, and now I was failing my son once again, that much I did know.
I was failing my son; he would never have a father. I would never again have mine and how I longed to go home, where I was loved and the cherished Alphas daughter. Instead, I am now ashamed and scum, forbidden to speak to my sister in my father’s eyes. Not even my mother would fight her grandchild or me. I knew she was hurting, but I could never choose anyone over my son, so how could she choose Dad over me?
My life had fallen apart; I didn’t think it could get much worse, but then it ripped my heart out too. I thought my luck was changing when he stepped into the bathroom. Every piece of me, screaming for him. I truly realized how powerful a mate bond is for the first time. Nothing thrilled me more, well, until I saw the look on his face.
The way he yelled at me and ordered me off his territory. Only to have my father toss me outside in the rain afterward. Forcing me to watch my son being looked after through a d**n window out of reach because I no longer deserve Human decency from my own family.
I thought I could do this. I thought I was stronger than this but everyone breaks. Everyone has a breaking point, and I have reached mine, everything d*n thing weighing me down suddenly becomes too much, and I break. At least no one could see how F*cked up I really was while I cried in the shower, letting the shower wash away my sorrow. Wash out the pain I felt until it brought me to my knees.
Making it startlingly clear how alone I was.
Loneliness was deafening and cold, no one to tell you it would be alright , no one to help you pick up the pieces, no conversation, and I had lost my sense of self. I was no one now, just a mum, just another rogue w***e for everyone to look down at. Even though I am not. He is my mate, who didn’t see me. I realize how small and insignificant I am to everyone except my baby boy.
Hearing a knock on the door, my head jerks up from where it was pressed to my knees. I get up quickly, shutting the water off and grabbing a towel.
“Everly dear, open the door for me.”
“Sorry, just a sec,” I call back, checking Valerian before tugging a shirt over the towel to try to appear presentable.
I open the door to find Valerie standing there with a tray in her hands and two plates on it.
“Thought I would come to join you in here. The time must have slipped you by,” Valarie says. I quickly take it from her, and she steps inside, walking to the small table.
“Oh, I am so sorry, I didn’t realize how much time passed, ” I tell her, glancing at the old analog clock on the wall. Was I really in the shower that long?
“It’s fine dear, I could hear you were upset, so I thought I would come and be an ear to listen, ” she says, and my brows bunch at her words. She points behind me to the bathroom.
“That vent there is directly above my kitchen. It echoes through the pipes. I keep meaning to get someone in to fix it, but no one wants to help a rogue w***e” she says. My face heats, and I touch my cheeks.
” I ‘m sorry. I didn’t realize; I hope I didn’t disturb you,” I tell her; she waves me off.
“You forget I have been where you are, I would have put you in another room, but this is the nicest one left and is functional. The place is falling apart, ” she says. Valerian starts fussing, and I move to get up when Valarie does.
“Go get your pajamas on; I will watch him. Isn’t that right, Sugar? Yes, I love me some baby cuddles, ” she says, smiling brightly down at him as she scoops him up into her arms.
“Go on, get dressed, and then we can talk, ” she says, and I nod, quickly digging through my bag and grabbing some clothes out before rushing to the bathroom. I dressed quickly and came out with my hair wrapped in my towel.
“He is such a sweet boy,” Valarie babbles to him. He eventually drifts off, and she places him back in bed.
“So, what makes you upset? Why the tears?”
“It’s nothing. Everything just got to be too much, ” I tell her as we unwrap our dinner from the aluminum foil.
We tuck in eating, and I tell Valarie everything, bleeding my heart and soul out to her, the pressure lifting off my chest. I didn’t realize how talking to someone who listened could feel relieving. Valarie also told me she found her mate when she was my age.
Because she was an Omega, he didn’t want to tell anyone because it would bring shame to her mate’s family. These days it was uncommon for someone to be so prejudiced over Ranking. The most heartbreaking part was he never rejected her, kept her around, refusing to let her go because he couldn’t handle knowing she would belong to someone else.
She said she became just another side piece so he would stay strong; rejecting mates weakens us, yet I thought it was disgusting he would force her to endure that agony of being alone.
When she fell pregnant, he took her son, said it was better if he raised him. She said besides pictures, she hadn’t seen her son since he was a baby. He doesn’t even know she exists because her mate told him she died during birth. Her story was tragic and gut- wrenching, yet she still loved him despite it.
” Have you thought of moving on?” I ask her, and she shakes her head.
“He still comes in every couple of weeks to stay the night,“ She tells me with a shrug like she never thought about finding anyone else.
“Can I ask you something, something a little personal? ” I ask her. I needed to know; I needed to know if I would be tortured my entire life.
“You can ask me anything, but then I want to ask you something,” she says, and I nod.
“When I found my mate, he was with another woman. The pain… I mean, does it feel like that all the time? Will it feel like that every time he is with someone? ” She swallows, her eyes turning glassy. Valarie sits back in her chair, looking towards the window, and she gulps.
“You will learn to endure it. After a while, even welcome it”
“Why would I welcome it?”
“Because it makes you angry, I love my mate, but I also hate him. Sometimes hating them hurts less than realizing you will never have them. It reminds you to keep on living despite what they did to us.
Hold onto that anger because sometimes it is the only thing that will keep you going, ” she tells me.
“I get a script though, powerful painkillers, they help take the edge off, but if he’s anything like my mate, it is over quickly before the d***s set in” She laughs.
” B***y two stroker, tosses his mate and wonders why he can’t F*ck right,” she laughs to herself, and I snort at her foul language, trying to hold my own giggle. She sighs, and I smile sadly at her.
“So, what’s next for you?” She asks.
“Unsure, probably go back to my car, see if I can get my old job back, though he said no last time I asked”
“How about I hire you? I need help here; not that much can be done to save this dump now” she laughs, and I look around the room.
“What do you think? Or do you think it is too much work? I could always b**n it?” Valarie says with a laugh.
” I have been tempted to, but before me, it was my mother’s, so I am attached to this place, ” she tells me.
“I think it just needs a clean-up, new linens and carpets and some paint” I could go on, but the list would be never-ending.
“So if you are interested, you can live here for free, and I will provide meals and a wage, say 3zs an hour? ” She says, and I nearly choke on my spit. I wasn’t even making half that an hour at the Restaurant when I was working.
“Are you serious?” I ask, a little shocked.
“Very, I could use the company and the help. I don’t even know where to begin, and honestly, I lost motivation to do it years ago. We can fix this one up first for you and Valerian, ” she says, looking around. Tears well in my eyes at her generous offer.
“Don’t suppose you got any friends; this might even be a bit much for both of us,” she mutters, breaking off a piece of the table, the wood crumbling in her hand. I think of Zoe and Macey from the maternity ward.
I might know two other girls from the maternity unit; I could try and contact them,”
“Rogues?” She asks, and I nod.
“Good, tell them I will give them $25 an hour. I am good for it. I have more money than I can spend in this lifetime, so it would be good to get some help. It would be nice to see this place up and running again;
it used to be the most popular Hotel in the City when my mother had it. Also has a function room out the back, weddings used to be held here but not since it started falling apart.”
“So no one comes out when you ring?” I ask her, what is wrong with people? Who would turn her away?
“Nope, I organize workers, and they never show up. My mate keeps tabs on my phones; he is paranoid. I know it is he’s doing, ” she says with a sigh.
“Well then, I will try to call the girls and see if they are looking for work. Would it be an issue if they brought their babies to work?”
“Of course they can; there is even an old play center off the side of the Restaurant downstairs, we could fix it up for when they are older and can play. Take turns watching them. While they are little, we can just strap the babies to us.”
“Macey, I know has family, Zoe though I think is like me, she was a little quiet and young, so I am not sure if she could get a sitter.”
“Well, if either need somewhere to stay, there are plenty of rooms, there are units outback, but they need a lot of work, ” She tells me.
“Well, I will let you rest, and let me know when the girls can start if they are interested. Come down for breakfast in the morning too. Here“ She says, handing me a key.
“That will let you into my studio, so you have access to the kitchen if I am not here, which is rare; I have nowhere else to go, “ She chuckles.
“Thank you, Valarie. You have no idea how much this means to my son and me.“ “No need to thank me, Everly. So I will see you in the morning, and we will start ordering supplies, should be a pen and paper in the drawer. If the moths haven’t eaten them, write a list of what needs doing that you notice, and we can go over it tomorrow, “ She says before looking down at Valerian on the bed. She brushes her finger down his little nose, her eyes softening before she clears her throat and nods to me before walking out.